Five super bowl wins and 14 AFC East titles in the last 16 years. This century’s NFL was not supposed to produce these results, but Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots spat on the idea of parity.
How they’ve gone about dominating has had many football fans pin an asterisk to their accomplishments, however. Unscrupulous has been a word thrown around a lot with the Pats, and we have all been beaten to death with why. You either believe they are evil, or you are a Pats fan. There is no longer a middle ground with them, especially after last year’s incredible Super Bowl comeback.
Why This Lifelong Fan Is Finally Sick Of Tom Brady And The New England Patriots
The Falcons were the beacon of hope for many of my liberal brethren, thinking the “evil” Pats were all in that idiot Trump’s pocket, and this Super Bowl LI lined up to be some kind of parallel to the country’s political landscape. I was certainly at a crossroads, and I haven’t been without my own skepticism of the Pats’ preparation practices over the years.
2016 was the year of the deterioration of my fandom. I began the season strong, claiming the four-week “break” would be good rest for Tom Brady at almost 40 years old, plus he’d return vengeful enough to win every single game. And he nearly did just that, other than an always tough Seahawk team juiced (that’s right Hawk fans, I chose that word on purpose) to get revenge on him. He breezed through every other game until the first quarter of the Super Bowl. His stats were ridiculous, nearly winning him the MVP with only 12 of 16 games played. But something all season irked me with Brady, and I just wasn’t buying into “Tom Terrific” anymore.
That’s not to say I wasn’t enjoying my team. The defense was rounding into shape, with Dont’a Hightower, Malcolm Butler, and Devin McCourty setting the tone. Martellus Bennett was a super fun player to watch and always had something entertaining to say. But as Trump shamelessly threw Kraft, Belichick, and Brady’s names around, it really started to sour me on the trifecta at the helm of the Pats.
After years of having to listen to crybaby former players turned commentators (talking about you Marshall Faulk) continue to vehemently hate them, it started to make more sense. Maybe the Pats are the bad guys, undeserving of all they’ve accomplished. Their disgust with Brady and Belichick seemed to mirror the nation’s disgust for the horrible new political regime, so maybe I was missing something.
I thought it shouldn’t have to be difficult to be a fan of a team, and it was certainly starting to get that way for me. Annoyed by everything I read and heard on this team, I decided, around when Brady returned from suspension, that I was only going to pay attention to the team at game time and would forgo all the other noise. I avoided all articles, opinions, and video clips. I even stopped watching Fitzy GFY, the stereotypical Boston sports fan character that comedian Nick Stevens plays to perfection. It was all so obnoxious. I didn’t care about the Goodell nonsense anymore, didn’t care about Brady getting his revenge. I really only wanted to watch good football being played.
And it was actually kind of freeing. It reminded me what it was like before Charles Woodson’s strip sack was miraculously ruled Pat’s ball thanks to the tuck rule. Before Adam Vinatieri delivered the first championship since the original Big Three smoked the Houston Rockets in 1986. I lived in Washington State during the early aughts, when the internet was primitive, and the Pats weren’t talked about outside of New England to be sure. Even after they won their 3rd super bowl and before the Spygate nonsense (bitter Mangini), no one outside of New England cared. I think I liked when no one cared about them a lot better.
So, this season became the tipping point for me. There they were playing in another Super Bowl, their ninth; but I just wasn’t excited. Once the Falcons started putting up points on the Pats, I started getting dismissive. I actually started to feel as though this beating they were taking was some sort of karmic payback for their prior shadiness.
When the comeback happened, I wasn’t enjoying it. I now saw what the other football fans saw; the Patriots were the Trump of football. Maybe next year I should put my support behind poor Matt “Matty Ice” Ryan and his exciting Atlanta Falcons because I’ve had enough these Patriots.
So, there you have it; a diehard Boston sports fan jumped ship. Think about that for a second, Patriot haters. Did you really believe any of the malarkey I just put on paper for the last 800 or so words? Do you really believe any true sports fan would bail on their childhood team? Of course, I didn’t bail on the team I’ve rooted for since the age of 6. I think we all watch our favorite teams to watch them win, and no one in their right mind wouldn’t want their team to win every game every year. I’m not tired of watching winners, and never will be. I’ve lived on the west coast for most of my life, so I’ve had practice defending my team from the bitter Seahawk fandom. Most of them argued sports with me in a way that made me think they were actually trying to convince me to switch allegiances. The idea had always been so preposterous to me, so I thought it would make for a funny story.
Because be honest with yourself. If you had Brady on your Colts, on your Dolphins, on your Raiders, you’d love him; you’d be buying GOAT shirts.
If you had Belichick running your Bills, your Vikings, your Eagles, you’d be singing the praises of the “genius”, not the “cheat”. You’d vehemently defend the unscrupulous stuff the very same way.
You’d be outraged by the bag job that was Deflategate (which was really only a thing because it’s been fashionable to hate on the Pats since Spygate, and the Colts were tired of being embarrassed year after year).
Being a diehard fan and not bailing on your team is the badge of honor true sports fans get to wear. We go through all of the Hugh Millen seasons to reap moments like what transpired after 28-3.
Of course, I didn’t go on any media boycott either (except ESPN, but that was after they botched Deflategate). Truth is, I couldn’t get enough of everything ever written and said about the Pats. I read about the Ideal Gas Law, the Wells Report, and the subsequent Wells Report refuted by the Patriots and their lawyers. I watched every Fitzy GFY video and read every Bill Simmons column because they say everything we feel, but get away with it because they are hilarious.
As for Goodell, the revenge was served and served well. That clown has made himself look like an idiot, and almost single handily made the Patriots and Brady sympathetic figures amidst the witch hunt. It didn’t happen of course because the rest of the football world was delighted to be without Brady for four weeks.
Then there was zero sympathy for the Pats when everyone realized they’d still be close to Super Bowl favorites with Jimmy or Jacoby at the helm. And because the kids looked so good too, Brady went into robot mode when he got back, putting up those sick numbers just to make sure no one got starry eyed and tried to trade him in just yet.
What I can admit to is that I definitely hated that the trifecta of Kraft, Belichick, and Brady were connected to Trump, but it would be pretty ridiculous to bail on my team because a few of them support a fool. Otherwise, I’d have to hate my Red Sox because of Curt Schilling and the hot mess he’s become shooting his mouth off left and right. Not to mention that some of the most impactful players on last year’s team were also ones that boycotted the victory trip to the White House. It’d be really unfair to them to declare the entire brand of the Patriots as some kind of Trump affiliate.
So make no mistake, we Pats’ fans are obnoxious and arrogant, and we love that you hate us. We bathe in the hate. Boston used to be the “woe is me” Loser-town before the Pats started doing their thing (Outside of the Celtics). We played beta to the Yankees all of those years, and some arrogance of our own can only be expected.
So, just remember, my team is better than your team, and how they came back in the Super Bowl just proves they are some of the best at winning football games in the history of the planet. They will continue to dominate and may take a more shady approach from time to time while doing so.
But Pats Nation will still be this way after Brady’s gone. We’ll cite the five (or probably six, seven, or eight by then to be sure) Super Bowl wins, plus the two that got away by the hand of the stupid Giants. My collection of championship DVDs has been a source of joy that can never be sullied. (See, now when your team wins, you will feel that much better about it if they beat the Pats along the way. You can rub it in our faces, you can bring up how arrogant we’ve always been. You know, just like you all tried to do to us early in the 2nd half of the Super Bowl. It will feel so great when you actually get to say it to us, I promise!).
This New England Patriots team had done it all and I thought nothing would surprise me anymore. Then that comeback brought out the Kevin Garnett in me, thinking anything is possible. It’s been a pure joy to experience some of the most glorious victories a sports fan could witness, and no asterisk gets attached to those experiences.
But, to have that miraculous of a comeback happen for us, when our team has been so dominant for so long was almost a little embarrassing when thinking about fans of teams like the Jets. They deserve that happiness too, right? Sorry, that was the last lie, I promise. I don’t ever feel bad for Jets’ fans and I love their misery. I make it a point to ridicule my Jet fan friends on regular basis. Besides, they share the same city as Giants fans, and they are the ones that root for the evil team.